Home | News    Thursday 22 July 2010

VP Machar says Abyei referendum will occur with or without border demarcation

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

July 21, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The South Sudan Vice president Riek Machar today criticized the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) over the delay in demarcating the borders in the oil rich region of Abyei.

JPEG - 30 kb
Southern Sudanese regional vice president Riek Machar (L) listens to Sudan’s Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha during a meeting in Khartoum on July 10, 2010 (AFP)

The NCP & Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) took the issue of Abyei borders to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) which defined the borders in a decision accepted by both sides exactly a year ago.

The ex-Southern rebel group complains that that its members of a joint demarcation team feel threatened by armed militia elements, which the SPLM claims are sponsored by Khartoum.

Abyei, which is close to key oil fields and includes rich pasture land, is used by two main groups, the Dinka Ngok, linked to south Sudan’s Dinka people, and nomadic Misseriya Arabs, associated with the north.

“The demarcation of this border has been stalled and politicized unnecessarily. This now threatens that peace. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) calls on the Government of Sudan to join it in efforts to demarcate the area within 30 days” Machar said in a Op-Ed article sent to Sudan Tribune.

“The Government of Sudan and its members on the Joint Demarcation Committee, however, have not fulfilled their commitment to demarcate the area. The frustrations of the SPLM Joint Demarcation Committee have been well documented as have the SPLM’s attempts to encourage the GoS to facilitate their work. Instead, the Government has politicized the tribunal decision’s implementation and in doing so, made false promises to the Misseriya and other nomads whose livelihoods depend on these areas” the SPLM official said.

Machar stressed that the referendum on the future of Abyei will not be held off by the deadlock in the demarcation process.

“Whether the demarcation takes place or not, the borders of Abyei are fixed and known. Delaying the demarcation has no affect on changing Abyei’s defined borders”.

He further noted that political boundaries will not interfere with the movements of Misseriya and other nomads.

“The SPLM guarantees to all Misseriya and other nomads that your traditional rights to movement through the Abyei Area post 2011 will continue regardless of the results of the Abyei Area and Southern Sudan Referenda”.

The Abyei referendum commission has yet to be formed and demonstrations were staged in the region demanding its swift establishment.

Below is the full letter of South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar


By Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Deputy Chairman, SPLM

One year ago today, a tribunal sitting at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague helped to ensure peace among our people by issuing a decision defining the borders of the Abyei Area. The demarcation of this border has been stalled and politicized unnecessarily. This now threatens that peace. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) calls on the Government of Sudan to join it in efforts to demarcate the area within 30 days.

As many readers know, in a dispute over land, like the one of Abyei, the most important part of the tribunal’s decision is the definition of the land’s borders on a map. Definition is where designated officials, in this case an international tribunal, draw on a map the longitude and latitude lines representing the Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern borders of the area in question. This has been done for the Abyei Area. Indeed, under the law, there is now no question or ambiguity about where Abyei’s borders are located and where the ancestral lands of the Ngok Dinka are. Both the SPLM and the Government of Sudan know where Abyei’s borders are and they have publicly agreed they are final. In fact, in the arbitration agreement that originally referred the case to the tribunal, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM both that the tribunal’s decision on the boundaries would not only be “binding”, but also that “the Presidency of the Republic of Sudan shall ensure the immediate execution of the final arbitration award.”

After the ruling was issued, leaders of both parties publicly reaffirmed their commitment to implement the award. One year later, the SPLM remains dedicated to this effort. The Government of Sudan and its members on the Joint Demarcation Committee, however, have not fulfilled their commitment to demarcate the area. The frustrations of the SPLM Joint Demarcation Committee have been well documented as have the SPLM’s attempts to encourage the GoS to facilitate their work. Instead, the Government has politicized the tribunal decision’s implementation and in doing so, made false promises to the Misseriya and other nomads whose livelihoods depend on these areas. This has caused unnecessary security concerns in the area and distracted our people from that which is most important. Indeed, what is most important is that we ensure that: 1) all people who depend on land and waters of Abyei have access and their customary rights of movement respected and protected even after 2011, and 2) that Abyei and all of the surrounding areas to which its many neighbors seasonally return in the North and South, receive increased reconstruction, development, and prosperity, and 3) that the Ngok Dinka and other residents of the abyei Area shall finally have a right to choose whether they want to belong to the North or South ( a right the Government of Sudan denied to them in the past).

Indeed, our people have been distracted and misled. For this reason, on this anniversary of the PCA’s decision it is important that our people are given the facts, rather than political opinions. Perhaps then we can begin to work together to renew trust among our people and bring peace and development to the area. As noted above, the definition of Abyei’s border on a map has been done. The borders are known and they are permanent. It is the demarcation that has not taken place. Much misinformation has been communicated about what demarcation is, what it will represent, and what its impact has on our people’s lives and even the Abyei Area Referendum. To clarify, the demarcation is when the known boundaries of an area are marked on the ground in some way so that people can see the borders if they so choose. Demarcation is not what makes the boundary of the Abyei Area final. The definition that tribunal issued in its decision already makes the boundaries of Abyei known, fixed and final. Delaying the demarcation of the border will not change or reverse the decision on the boundary. The two are not related. Under the law, the demarcation is the obligation of the Government of Sudan to demonstrate that it will not violate, but rather comply with law.

Though some have been led to believe otherwise, demarcation is not a wall that keeps people in or out. It is also not a fence that prevents our animals from moving to and fro for grazing. Consistent with practice around the world, as planned by the Joint Demarcation Committee of the SPLM and Government of Sudan, demarcation in Abyei only means the placing of several poles in the ground which are a full kilometer apart from each other. These poles help people on the ground to visibly see the borders. It is true that many community members that rarely travel far from their villages will never even see these poles. It is probably true that some of these markers likely will even find themselves under water during our rainy season. This is what some people would have you fear – a few poles made from oil pipelines in Heglig, separated by vast areas of land, in some cases water, cows and villages.

There are those that would like to feed conflict in our villages where local leaders and community members have for years peacefully organized the movement of their peoples and the reception of their neighbors for purposes of grazing and other traditional activities. We must work together to speak over these individuals that work against the unity and peace of our people. In this spirit the SPLM wish to confirm the following to all of the people concerned.

1. Whether the demarcation takes place or not, the borders of Abyei are fixed and known. Delaying the demarcation has no affect on changing abyei’s defined borders.

2. If the demarcation does not take place, this will not in any way delay the Abyei Area Referendum. The demarcation is symbolic in this case more than instructive, and both parties already know where the borders are.

3. Because we already know where the borders are, the definition of who is a “resident” for purposes of voting in the Abyei Area Referendum will not be affected in any way if the demarcation does not occur. Demarcation has no influence at all on the definition of who does and who does not get to vote in the Abyei Area Referendum.

4. The demarcation is not a solid wall or even a long fence and it will never be a physical obstacle to any of the customary movements of our people of the North and South who traditionally and seasonally migrate through the Abyei Area.

5. As the tribunal stated, the political boundaries between states and even countries do not need to interfere with the customary rights of movement for traditional people. For this reason, the SPLM guarantees to all Misseriya and other nomads that your traditional rights to movement through the Abyei Area post 2011 will continue regardless of the results of the Abyei Area and Southern Sudan Referenda.

6. Consistent with the CPA and the PCA decision, the SPLM will respect and protect the right of choice that is before the members of the Ngok Dinka community and it will work with the Abyei Area Commission to define the criteria for “other residents” of Abyei that is consistent with international law and state practice.

7. Lastly, the SPLM reiterates our commitment to protecting the livelihoods of the people of Abyei and its surrounding areas no matter the outcome of the 2011 referenda. We will continue to work together with the Government of Southern Sudan and the Government of National Unity to bring more development, reconstruction and opportunity to the people who live there. We welcome identification from the people of their needs and priorities.

People of Sudan, on this anniversary of the PCA’s boundary decision, the SPLM wishes to tell you that there is nothing to fear about the demarcation of the Abyei Area and you should not let any person fill your heads with lies or misunderstanding about it. Demarcation does not prevent people and their animals from moving freely. Demarcation does not determine whether someone can or cannot vote, and demarcation will not change the now defined boundaries of the Abyei Area. The two CPA parties have too much to do before 2011 on behalf of our people. The demarcation of the Abyei Area is a requirement of the CPA that must be completed and we should spend no more time in delays. In this spirit, on this day the SPLM calls for the support of the Presidency and in particular, President Al Bashir, to urgently provide to the members of the Joint Demarcation Team all of the technical support and political authorization needed to complete this work in no later than (30) days. We hope the people of Sudan will join us in this call for completion of this task.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 22 July 2010 07:36, by Paul Chadrack

    Well done Dr Machar, south sudan independent is over any self interest, continue with this spirit, leave alone those of selfish people like Lam Akol and some of shilluks who support him, they will watch south sudan going to separation in daylight.

    repondre message

    • 22 July 2010 10:41, by Sala Gai

      Do we mean the border demarcation of 1956 or local Arab made Map?

      repondre message

  • 22 July 2010 08:03, by DASODIKO

    Good job VP Machar, but also be prepared for the worst. Thump up man these maggots will do everything they could to thwart people of the South Sudan over their rights.

    repondre message

    • 22 July 2010 08:11, by BUSTA 2

      Let Machar become President and Kiir VP!!!

      Surely Machar has brain for the Southerners soon than later,he will replace Kiir because we need a leader like him who look into future.

      Machar you are just a President awaiting and soon than later your drean and Might Great Equatoria will come true!!!

      Brother in Christ,

      Busta 2

      repondre message

      • 22 July 2010 10:52, by Sala Gai

        Mr. Busta 2

        You may be right in any way round, becuase why I had say these due to criticism which had being occur usually give you position, but simple it will be wise of the choice of community to bring in the new you wise nevertheless we axctually will not and never do such kind of stupidity to make crisis to people whom you are going to govern them in few minus than rather be rich in the same time like Dr Lam Akol who making business against the separation the Southern which even occur during his outbreak of 1991 and never do any thing .

        repondre message

    • 22 July 2010 16:43, by Ajokbil

      Machar
      You have done your worderful job like they way you have been doing the rest.

      If you were to have this mind in early ninetieths we should have not continue to discuss the border demarcation at this time, but it is good that it is the same person whom cause the delay, being the one to wrestle with whom support him to delay the issue.

      Keep it up and we thank for reassure those parties. The issue need understanding and patient.

      repondre message

  • 22 July 2010 08:18, by The Best Generation

    Thats right though Al Bashir and his collaborants believe in bribing the justices, The Perment Court of Arbitration (PCA) has shown us a tremendous justice by sending us the ruling which is the last and binding on all the stake holders to the Abyei.
    We will never let SPLM in general and DR. Machar down for their patriotic act. “Whether the demarcation takes place or not, the borders of Abyei are fixed and known. Delaying the demarcation has no affect on changing Abyei’s defined borders”.

    I Love The Statement

    repondre message

    • 22 July 2010 09:21, by Makeethy

      This is nonsense! How would you vote or be identified if there is nothing that shows whether you are from north or south? Assume that we have no border with Kenya or Uganda, in that matter, where would I belong? I can be part of both. This is totally a confusion and a bomb that may explode after secession.

      repondre message

  • 22 July 2010 11:37, by Haak

    BRAVO!!!!! BRAVO!!!!!! DR. Machar we need people with fresh and academy ideas always, i believed and trust minus,plus, addition and subtraction of border demacration wouldn’t bother us. we southern sudanese are ready for our freedom, for the doubting Thomas shame on you all. remember Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose, It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change.
    A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done. anyway Machar your our true man your just down waiting president
    thanks
    Haakamadology!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    repondre message

    • 22 July 2010 17:21, by Gabriel K

      Blinded people can be mislead, but not everybody can be mislead.
      Where was this Journalist without name during this event and why is it 21 July is this article is publish,but not 10 July. what is going on here.are we missing something or Taha. gave some money to greedy Machar.

      repondre message

      • 22 July 2010 18:15, by Haak

        some time we comment as if some of us are upside down physologically, politically and diplomatically, are we here for journalist names or we are here for quality, clear and trueful information? if your lacking a name than you can grabe from any animal like MALUAL, GARANG ETC. i would like to remind u that Riek is not greedy otherwise the freedom all southern sudanes want wqas his first anf foremost message but Dinka never understand due to their natural negative hatre they have for Nuer. DO WE RECALL SSIM-SOUTHERN SUDAN INDEPENT MOVEMENT/ARMY

        THANKS
        HAAKAMADOLGY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        repondre message

        • 22 July 2010 20:31, by Gabriel K

          you sound like little bitch boy. there is no an article without name in public website. or did Riek Machar post this article to ssim Militias. by the way enjoy your out date article brainless people

          repondre message

  • 22 July 2010 17:48, by mass

    Good job Dr. Riek Machar Teny,
    You are one intelligent,dedicated,committed and determinative person in realizing how issues ought to be done and ways of achieving those issues that affect the whole of southern Sudan and other marginalized areas across Sudan. whatever you say in given situation above makes sense to anyone with rational intellectuality. You possess the mental equipment for detecting a complex situations like the Abyei. Therefore your summary on abyei issue is plain and clear to anyone without learning and comprehensive disability because you demonstrate it conventionally-that is you use treaties signed between SPLM and NCP to argue your case which is "Abyei referendum will occur with or without border demarcation." In those treaties the faith and position of Abyei has been decisively "defined "by the International Permanent Court for Arbitration as you mentioned in your article which means the actual borderline of the Abyei and its neighboring areas has been graphically sketched on the Abyei map period.

    repondre message

  • 22 July 2010 18:42, by south sudan power

    I have not respect for this man so call Riek!

    repondre message

    • 23 July 2010 06:24, by Peace Lover

      Who care for your respect.

      repondre message

    • 23 July 2010 08:06, by thomas

      I watched the entire Abyei Tribunal and let me tell you, Dr. Machar, Deng Alor, and our entire team were on top of their game. Whatever happened in the past, the Vice-President has more than redeemed himself.

      repondre message

    • 23 July 2010 09:08, by hard liner

      who cares, your respect alone can not earn him a pride, so shut up your smelly mouth...

      repondre message

  • 23 July 2010 14:38, by unity state boy

    That is true my friend Haah madol the people are recall back to SSIM now and before they do ,n t belive.now they know MACHAR IS OUR FUTUR LEADER.

    Thank by Amen
    IN UK

    repondre message

    • 27 July 2010 00:29, by Amokdu

      Thank you Mr. Machar for your good work.

      repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


South Sudan Health Sector: the untold story 2019-11-21 20:08:17 "It is what is unsaid that divides the people" Dr Francis Deng Majok By Pal Chol To begin with, Juba Teaching Hospital is the main National Referral Hospital which falls under the jurisdiction (...)

Identity issue in South Sudan 2019-11-21 20:08:03 WE ARE NATIONALITIES AND NOT ONE PEOPLE ONE NATION By Kim Gai Ruot One Nation is defined as people with one ethnicity, language and common origin. South Sudanese do not have common descent, (...)

War crimes, post-traumatic stress disorder and reconciliation in South Sudan 2019-11-21 12:09:50 By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi Recently I wrote several damning Facebook posts about others and republished my article titled “Collusion and Harmful Actions against South Sudan Peace Process” in which (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.